Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Each year, dozens of organisations and workers seek our action and support in cases of labour and human rights violations. With persistence from workers, consumers, CCC and its partners, we are proud to see many of these cases through to settlement. The impact of our international solidarity has reinstated fired workers, released imprisoned labour activists, recognised labour unions, and improved health and safety conditions in garment factories.
At CCC, we take action for garment workers within four areas of opportunity:
In one word: No.
The garment industry was one of the first industries to globalise and to become transnational. It developed into one of the most detrimental industries in terms of working rights for the people making our clothes, and is in the top five of most polluting industries.
You can use the search function on our website to find past and present violations of labour rights and the specific brands who were/are involved, as well as general information about the garment industry and the worker experience.
Workers' wages do seem low – but isn't the cost of living more affordable in garment-producing countries?
In comparison to the global north, garment-producing countries do yield a lower cost-of-living. That figure, however, does not represent a garment workers’ wage by proportion.
All governments have a responsibility to protect workers and their rights, to regulate companies and foreign investments, as is stated in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
When this happens, it’s the brand’s cue to take responsibility and make changes.
Brands don’t hire garment workers; supply management does. So why should the brand be responsible for factory working conditions?
After leaving the hands of a garment worker, your clothes ship from buyer to buyer until a retailer sells them to you for a tiny profit. With so many people involved in the supply chain, CCC and many other influential institutions, such as the UN expects brands to uphold labour standards in every phase. Brands are able to make sure that the same kind t-shirts are made, shipped and sold all over the world and meticulously control the quality of their product. Why do they claim they cannot exercise the same amount of scrutiny when it comes to labour conditions?
At Clean Clothes Campaign, we believe that you, both with your consumer and citizen power, can play a significant role in the fate of the garment industry. Because your purchases matter to brands, your voice will as well. As a citizen, you can use your voice to let brands and governments know you want fair working conditions for the people making our clothes.
Some brands claim to audit their suppliers for labour violations on a regular basis. Are they telling the truth?
The majority of today’s brands and retailers participate in one monitoring program or another. Indeed, a global industry of commercial ‘social auditing’ firms has emerged – but not all fulfill a benefit for workers.
What conventions and core labour standards does the International Labour Organisation (ILO) protect?
As part of the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a tripartite organisation of trade unions, governments and companies.
When I buy a garment, what portion of the cost goes to the workers? Are 'clean clothes' more expensive than the alternative?
Brands are notoriously secretive about what percentage of their retail prices go to the worker, so there is very little we can say for sure. However, while labour costs vary, for most garments, wages for production will scarcely exceed 3% of the price you pay in the shop. This percentage could be drastically less for an item from a luxury fashion brand, since workers producing high end garments do not typically earn more than workers producing for high street brands.
At CCC, we define a brand’s code of conduct as the detailed standards to which it holds its supplier(s) accountable. Brands are adopting this tool in response to our campaigning late 90swith other labour rights organisations. Nowadays, nearly all brands have a code of conduct.
CCC is a global alliance of autonomous national coalitions with an international Office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.